DIY is all about choosing to make something yourself instead of paying others to do it for you. It is about finishing a project independently without help from anyone else. Here are 5 concise steps that will help you master the art of DIY 3D Printing.
1st Step – Understand It
The first step to mastering something is to understand it! So what is 3D Printing?
3D printing refers to the process of converting a digital design file into a 3-dimensional product through the help of a 3D Printer. 3D printers are what convert conceptualised digital designs to physical products layer by layer.
2nd Step – Learn How To Prototype: DIY 3D Printing
The second step to learning DIY 3D Printing is to learn how to prototype. FAST.
3D printers are, if anything, fast and precise. Prototyping your DIY product and solution before making it has never been easier. Learning how to rapidly prototype and test different approaches to a similar solution using the 3D Printer is a significant skill to master. Because, DIY-ing is all about coming up with unique, innovative and simple solutions to everyday life problems.
3rd Step – Create Intricate Geometric Shapes
The third step to creating beautiful products is to learn how to create intricate geometric shapes.
3D Printers make no error. Unlike humans, they follow a design inch perfectly. The design you feed the printer is the design the printer will convert into a physical product. To master intricate geometric shapes one needs to focus on their 3D digital designing skills. Spend more time designing the product and learning from your prototypes than actually making the product. Sophistication is the most important element of DIYs, but it can only be achieved with proper planning.
4th Step – Learn Different 3D Printing Methods
There are many approaches to solving an issue. But, a successful DIY only makes use of the most efficient, simple and innovative approach. That efficient approach may call the object to be made in a particular way. Learning the different methods for 3D Printing is a really crucial skill.
Fused Deposition Modeling
This is the most common 3D Printing method. This method makes use of ABS or PLA plastics only. In this method, there is a constant flow of melted plastic which is released from the nozzle of the 3D Printer. This nozzle prints layer by layer, resulting in the 2 layers fusing as they cool down over time.
These types of 3D Printers tend to be inexpensive and slightly inaccurate due to their cheap make. Moreover, since it builds an object layer by layer. The top 20-30 layers and the bottom 10 layers tend to be extremely fragile(when compared to other layers).
Unlike the FDM type printers, SLM printers don’t build an object layer by layer. Rather, they use UV lasers to solidify liquid layers that the nozzle shoots. SLA printers are extremely fast and precise, however, they lack versatility. Only a handful of objects can be built using the SLA printer as compared to the FDM method.
Selective Laser Sintering: DIY 3D Printing
Much like an SLM printer, the SLS 3D printers use lasers to solidify the material. However, unlike the SLM printers, the materials are placed in the form of powder. It is this property of the SLS method that makes their printer extremely versatile since they can print using every single material imaginable. (Any material that can be laid down as powder.)
5th Step – Interfacing With Other Parts
A lot of 3D Printed Objects are actually printed in parts and assembled later. To make a successful 3D Printed DIY project it is important to make sure that all your parts work together ie. their dimensions to form 1 cohesive product at the end. Learning how to make all your parts work with each other is an important skill any 3D Printer should learn. Think about corrosion, hole sizes, dimensions, threads and the tolerance/ structural integrity of your parts. It is important to note that ABS plastic products shrink 2-3 mm as they cool down.